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Stratford students will host Goose Creek election candidate forum on March 29

Published Thursday, March 15, 2018

Stratford student council members

Pictured from left to right are Stratford senior Ashley Rojas, sophomore Spencer Condon, sophomore Emma Stockton and senior Daniel Wood.

In years past, Spencer Condon’s grandmother Barbara Bates organized candidate forums ahead of elections in the City of Goose Creek. Months after a lung cancer diagnosis, Barbara was unable to grab the reins and plan a forum ahead of the upcoming April election. 

Spencer, a sophomore at Stratford High School wanted to keep the family tradition. She saw an opportunity and has been working for weeks to plan a forum at the high school for the Goose Creek candidates running for mayor and city council seats.

The idea to host a forum at Stratford, led the by the school’s student council was pitched to the organization’s faculty advisor Donna Staller.  From there, the idea was taken to Principal Heather Taylor where it was approved and planning began.

“Within a week she (Spencer) had the agenda ready and a list of the candidates and their contact information,” Mrs. Staller said. “She called all of the candidates when we thought we had a date." 

Barring unforeseen circumstances, all the candidates are expected to be in attendance for the Thursday, March 29 event. It’s expected to last from 6:30-8:30 p.m. 

Stratford Sophomore Class President Emma Stockton is one of several student council members working with Spencer behind the scenes. She’s been busy making flyers, buttons and getting handlers and greeters prepared for the big night in the school’s auditorium.

“We’ll have the candidates on the stage, two to a table or something like that,” she said. “…We’re going to have a question panel. There’s going to be a student moderator, a faculty moderator.” 

Emma said to those members of the public in attendance, it will look like any other pre-election forum or debate. 

Mrs. Staller said initially Spencer and others were spending every night after school planning and preparing for the event. Now, they’ve been able to scale back and are anxiously awaiting the big night. 

“It’s really helped me realize how much work goes into the events that Stratford hosts and how much preparation there is,” Spencer said. “It gives me a lot more respect for the coordinators at Stratford and how much effort that they have to put into everything that we host here.” 

Candidates attending the forum will introduce themselves and then student moderators will ask questions. Those questions will be selected in advance by a student committee which gathered information from community members and students.

Brian Troutman